Graphic Acceptance: LGBTQ+ Characters in Manga

This past week I had the opportunity to present at the McConnell conference on youth literature, and I spoke about my favorite topic – manga! The presentation below has an introduction to what manga and anime are, some relevant Japanese terms to know, and then gets into recommendations (and one anti-recommendation) for school and public libraries. Every book recommended includes the ISBN for optimal searching on vendor websites!

Download the PDF of the presentation by CLICKING HERE.

Best New Anime Club Picks – Spring 2017

First things first – Crunchyroll has changed its methods for reviewing Anime Club accounts and this means it’s easier for you to get a free Anime Club Outreach account through them! Go here to sign up today!
Today I want to share some anime that make great picks to share at your Library’s Anime Club. These are all brand new anime airing this spring season, and are simulcast on Crunchyroll with subtitles. Click the images to go right to Crunchyroll and start watching!

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

Simulcast on Wednesdays at 5:25 am EDT

The life of the shinobi is beginning to change. Boruto Uzumaki, son of Seventh Hokage Naruto Uzumaki, has enrolled in the Ninja Academy to learn the ways of the ninja. Now, as a series of mysterious events unfolds, Boruto’s story is about to begin!

Fans of the original Naruto series, which ended both in manga and anime form recently, will love to continue their hokage journey with this sequel series!

Perfect for all ages of anime fans.

 Love Tyrant

Simulcast on Thursdays at 3:05 pm EDT

A beautiful girl named Guri, who has a mysterious item that forces two random people to kiss and turns them into couples, appears in front high school student, Aino Seiji. Despite being dressed up as a shinigami, she’s actually cupid. Suddenly, Guri tries to kiss Seiji, and then… Unavoidable and uncontrollable–A forceful love comedy that starts with an angel and a kiss!!

This series has some mature humor, but is hysterial and would be great for teens grades 9 and up!

 The Silver Guardian

Simulcast on Saturdays at 9:30 am EDT

The protagonist, Riku Suigin is a pro-level gamer. The heroine, Riku Rei, knows of this and is the most beautiful girl in school and also loves video games. Suigin receives a device to play a net game called “Grave Buster” from Rei, but Rei is suddenly kidnapped. When Rei puts his hand on the device, he’s sucked into the world of the game. And in that world, a battle between the tomb raiders and tomb protectors for the tomb of the mother goddess Bango’s tomb has been going on for 1000 years.

This series is based on a Chinese webcomic, which is a really interesting origin to share with your Anime Club attendees!

Upcoming Webinar: Best Manga of 2016-2017

PCI Webinar with Eden Grey

Best of Manga 2016 and 2017

Thursday, April 27th from 2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern

Competency: Young Adult Services
Sub-Topic: Young Adult Programming

Manga continues to be a favorite of patrons using our libraries, and staying up to date on this genre can be a challenge.

In this informative webinar with Eden Grey, she will cover an entire year of manga and review their appropriateness for library collections, as well as a look ahead at the best manga of 2017.

Attendees will take away a variety of brand new series to add to their collections for children, teens, and adults. They will also receive resources for finding manga reviews and ratings, and information on older manga series with a recent resurgence in popularity.

Find out more and register by clicking here. 

Best YA Book Club Picks

Everyone has their favorite teen books or books they read as a kid, but those don’t always make great book club choices. The perfect book club book is a combination of engrossing, thought-provoking, and unique. Today I’ll cover a few of my favorite choices for book discussions with teens. These discussions can take place in a library or school setting.

11861815Goodreads summary: Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids in the Pacific Northwest. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.

With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.

Filled with hand-drawn info-graphics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.

Winger is particularly great for book clubs because it is literally laugh out loud hilarious. Your readers will be telling you stories of getting in trouble for reading it in class and laughing during lectures. Girls will love the book because it gets them inside a boy’s head, and boys will love the book because it’s authentic and a little vulgar. 

9460487Goodreads summary: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

The first book in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series is a fantastic book club choice simply because of its unique format. The photographs are great discussion pieces! The fact that a movie was released in 2016 is also a great bonus because you can tie in a movie program with the book club.

28118037Goodreads summary: Metaltown, where factories rule, food is scarce, and hope is in short supply.

The rules of Metaltown are simple: Work hard, keep your head down, and watch your back. You look out for number one, and no one knows that better than Ty. She’s been surviving on the factory line as long as she can remember. But now Ty has Colin. She’s no longer alone; it’s the two of them against the world. That’s something even a town this brutal can’t take away from her. Until it does.

Lena’s future depends on her family’s factory, a beast that demands a ruthless master, and Lena is prepared to be as ruthless as it takes if it means finally proving herself to her father. But when a chance encounter with Colin, a dreamer despite his circumstances, exposes Lena to the consequences of her actions, she’ll risk everything to do what’s right.

In Lena, Ty sees an heiress with a chip on her shoulder. Colin sees something more. In a world of disease and war, tragedy and betrayal, allies and enemies, all three of them must learn that challenging what they thought was true can change all the rules.

An enthralling story of friendship and rebellion, Metaltown will have you believing in the power of hope.

Metaltown is a stand-alone novel that has a wealth of resources designed to accompany it. There are discussion guides and questions for classes, and the author loves to do classroom or Skype visits. If you’re looking for a book that hits difficult issues like poverty, gender equality, and ethics, then this is the right choice.

What Happens at Anime Club?

While running an Anime Club program for teens or adults may seem simple, it’s actually one of the more challenging programs that libraries offer. Not a lot of planning goes into the event. Choosing an anime to watch can be tricky, but there are more than enough options to go on. Getting supplies is easy – Kroger and Walmart have a small selection of Japanese snacks and drinks like pocky and aloe vera drinks. Advertising and marketing programs is second nature to librarians.

Actually running the program is the challenging part. You’ve got to have a passion for the content and subject matter. Sharing that passion with the attendees is what keeps them interested and coming back for more programs. Anyone can turn on Netflix and watch anime at home. Watching anime with other people who also love it, having discussions with them, and sharing your passion and enthusiasm is the best part of anime clubs. Building that little community can take some time – often months of anime clubs will pass with only a couple of attendees. But once you’ve got a good group going (just like a book club) it can be an incredibly meaningful and rewarding experience for everyone.

Anime club programs are also a great way to work on your library’s collection. Attendees will often know the exact volumes of certain manga series that have been damaged or gone missing, allowing you to fill in collection gaps. They will also have recommendations for new series to add to the collection. You can bring a wide variety of materials related to anime and Japanese culture, as well as video games and cosplay, and participants may check those items out.

If you don’t have an anime club at your library, you’re missing a great opportunity for community development, especially for that hard to reach “new adult” demographic. Anime clubs for teens and adults are a way to express one’s love for the otaku world, and share that passion with others. Creating a community of anime fans at programs, and creating new anime fans, is a fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved.

Creativity and Self Expression

My personal journey as a freelance Librarian really began with cosplay.

Cosplay is derived from costume play, and it means dressing up as characters from books, movies, manga and comics, animated series, and video games. Often it involves creating a costume from scratch – everything from head to toe is made by the cosplayer.

Using a local library’s makerspace to create my own costumes led to the opportunity to give back to that library in the form of cosplay workshops for its patrons. Cosplay is something that I love not only because it is creative, but because it allows for an extreme form of self expression. I love sharing that form of creative self expression with others, and having the opportunity to do so through libraries is amazing.

I want to share my passion for my own interests with others and help them learn the joys of creativity. Whether its using a sewing machine for the first time, learning to knit, or putting the finishing touches on a costume or a novel, I’ve been through it and succeeded. I hope to have the opportunity to share my experiences and expertise with the communities I’m a part of, and to discover the interests of new communities as well.

I hope that my journey leads me to many new places and people, and that I can teach them all many new and exciting things! So welcome to my new online home – I hope you enjoy your visit!